Red River Valley

Red River Valley sheet music, with a new arrangement with a simplified left hand: your students will love this Western-style song.  FOUR levels of difficulty, from beginner piano to using parallel sixths in the right hand. 

I really like this sweet version by Gordon Payne... it makes me think of old Westerns:


Here's the newest arrangement, only in the key of F.  Instead of the "loping" sound of a swinging bass left hand, it uses solid chords that swing:

Red River Valley for early piano players

Download Red River Valley with solid-chords left hand

Download the same arrangement, with a few "helper notes"

I am calling this an easy arrangement, but this is NOT inherently an easy melody, due to the necessity to move the hand a couple times.  But if a student likes the song, they will work at it.

The easiest arrangement, for Middle C readers:

Easy piano music version of Red River Valley


Download Red River Valley easy piano music for beginners:

Notice that I have given the Middle C note to the left hand sometimes, but usually to the right hand.  My bet is that your students will play the note with their right hand no matter what!  However, with beginner piano music, I like the continuity of playing Middle C with whichever hand was just involved in the previous notes, if there are enough fingers to share Middle C.

The chord symbols are for a potential duet partner.

Melody and accompaniment, with a Western-sounding left hand pattern:

Red River Valley piano sheet music, FREE. This is a nice two-handed version of this Western-style song.


Download Red River Valley, easiest two-handed version (with moving left hand

These arrangements are based on one I remember playing from a John Schaum book as a child; "The Cowboy Book".

I loved that book!  And this cowboy song was my favorite to play.  ("Streets of Laredo," with the sad tale of the young cowboy who knew he must die, was a close second.)

Be aware that there are many different versions of the lyrics.  I was hoping not to use any copyrighted versions, so there are only two verses in my arrangements.  Additional lyrics to this song are very easy to find.

In order to begin this piano song with confidence, it will help if your student  understands chords, so that they will recognize the left hand patterns.  Except for the G7 chord in measure 12, every left hand chord has the same shape and fingering.

Below is the version of the melody that I loved as a child.  Who can say which one is the "right" one?  I have noticed that some performers even mix the two melodies, incorporating them both into their arrangements.

Red River Valley piano sheet music, alternate melody. This is a very sweet tune.


Download cowboy song with alternate melody (my favorite)

Okay, now here are the BEAUTIFUL versions, but requiring much more skill (or dogged determination!)  These arrangements use parallel 6ths and a few 3rds, and they are so satisfying for young piano players.  Just not easy!

Right hand chord inversions with Red River Valley melody


Download the plain version of this song, with chord tones in Right Hand

Now, my very favorite version (but the hardest, I think):

Fancier melody of Red River Valley with more chord changes and right hand chord inversions, free sheet music


Download harder melody with chord tones in melody

The Sons of the Pioneers, with an old-fashioned sound, sing a melody that starts out like the alternate melody:







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Cheryl:
AMAZING site! Helps me a lot as a music teacher too. I'm a violin and piano teacher, and I think this is an incredible site!

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Matt:
THIS SITE IS AMAZING!!
I've been teaching guitar for about 5 years now, and I've only just found your website! (I could really have used it 5 years ago) :-)  I teach at primary schools every week day for about 4 hours, so the beginner tabs you have are ideal. Thank you so much for your hard work getting these on the web, you have made many children very happy!!

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